Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tales from Outside the Closet: Maybe You're Not Gay, Just Crazy!

As coming out stories go, I thought I'd heard them all.

One guy, an ex-friend with benefits in Buenos Aires, told me that his parents kicked him out of the house after they found out he was gay, warning him never to return until he changed his evil ways. He didn't, but they eventually took him back anyway. Another ex, also Argentine, got into a boxing match with his homophobic dad after his dad found out he was gay. Although I generally don't condone slugging one's parents, as he told me his coming out story, I found myself cheering on the kid. Hit him again!

A couple of years ago, a Bolivian friend told me that the night after he came out to his parents, he found an open Bible sitting on the table by his bed, as if the holy word would ward off evil spirits and homosexual urges. As I listened to his story, I found myself thanking God that my own religious mother never once brought Him into it when I came out to her all those years ago.

At least three guys I know, all American, came out without fanfare -- I presume -- because their mothers are lesbians. Another's mom, not gay, just remarkably accepting and open-minded, promptly proceeded to try to hook him up with eligible bachelors, including me.

But the coming out story I was told last night by a guy of Indian heritage who was trying to convince our mutual friend, also Indian, to come out already takes the prize for sheer crazy, which is actually what his parents accused him of being. When he told them that he's gay, there was no screaming, no punches thrown, no strategically placed Bibles -- just genuine concern for his health, his mental health.

They sent him to a psychiatrist to get to the bottom of what they apparently perceived as a dangerous mental malady. After several sessions with the shrink, a professional diagnosis was delivered: Their son wasn't insane; he was just gay. Recommended treatment: Deal with it.

And they did. That's all it took. Once the doctor confirmed that there was nothing wrong with their son, and nothing could be done to change who he is, the parents accepted him, tricks and all. Yes, tricks. These days, they're so comfortable with his sexuality that they don't mind when he brings random hook ups home.

"Guess who's coming to dinner?"

"Who?"

"Um, wait a second...." (Turns to guy) "What's your name again?"

Now that's crazy.
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